The consistency of a spindle capping machine relies in part on bottle contact. This contact includes spindle disk contact with the caps, gripper belt contact with the bottle and normally a stabilizer bar that contacts the top of the closures. To get efficient and reliable results from the spindle capper, slight adjustments to each of these may be necessary when bottles are changed over!
The spinning spindle disks on this bottle capper are the components that actually tighten the cap on to the bottle. As the bottle and cap move through the multiple sets of disks, the cap will be contacted on each side by each set. The spinning motion of the wheels thread the cap until it is tight. The face of the capping machine will include a knob and locking lever for each spindle on the machine. As different bottles are run, the knobs allow for easy adjustment of the disks in and out. Operators of the machine simple release the locking lever and turn the knob to adjust the individual disks in and out. Once in place, the lever can be locked once again to hold the specific disk in the correct spot.
Of course, the disks may need to be adjusted up and down as well if different bottle heights are used in a packaging project. The control panel for this packaging machine will include a power height adjustment switch. In order to raise or lower the spindle disks, the operator of the machinery need only move the switch left or right to lower or raise the disks.
The stabilizer bar helps keep the cap in place from the time it is introduced to the bottle up to the tightening process. With an automatic capping machine, caps are delivered to a chute using an elevator or bowl type sorter. Each bottle strips one cap from the chute as it moves in to the capping area. The stabilizer bar helps protect against missing caps, cross-threads and more. This bar can also be raised or lowered with the power height adjustment, as the control actually raises and lowers capper housing. In those unique cases where the stabilizer bar needs to be adjusted separately, a single bolt will usually be loosened to make such adjustments. Once in place, the bolt will be tightened and both the disks and the stabilizer bar will be properly placed.
Finally, gripper belts are used to stabilize the bottle rather than the cap. By stabilizing both components, the spindle capper is able to achieve a high accuracy rate while also running bottles at a higher rate. Both single and double gripper belts may be used depending on the type and size of bottle being run. Speaking generally, the second set of belts will be used for bottles that are oddly shaped, tall, or generally require more than a single belt to keep them stabile. Back on the face of the capping machine, along with the knobs for the spindle disks, an operator will find two hand cranks. One crank adjusts belts up and down, while the other adjusts them in and out. With this simple adjustment, the capper has now been set up to hold the bottle and cap in proper position as well as tighten the cap in a consistent and reliable manner.
For packagers having issues dialing in the capping machine, NPACK technicians can help walk an operator through the process. Technicians can be reached Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM Central Time. Packagers can also use the NPACK website to send in a request for contact, and a technician will reach out once the request is received.